Saturday, January 8, 2011

Up in smoke.....

So as of today I WAS a smoker, by virtue of the fact I have not had a cigarette in over 24 hours I get to say that. But I suppose I should come clean about something, it's not the first time I jumped off the nicotine bandwagon. I had quit for two years after smoking for ten but thanks to my poor anxiety coping skills.....or just my incredible talent at justifying behavior that is bad for me....I picked them back up a year and a half ago. But now grad school is over, student loans are coming due, and I aint getting any younger.

The question that always begs an answer from my non smoker friends is why did you start back? Why do you smoke? Or just the plain old beyond know those things will kill you, no shit Sherlock. So I will let you in on a little secret, I really loved smoking. Maybe it's because I wasn't breast fed, maybe there is some smoker gene, maybe it made a dork like me feel cool. Whatever the reason I enjoyed it and whenever I said I can't quit...I really meant I didn't want to. Such is the reality of any addiction and yes TV, food, and shopping can be an addiction.

So this brings me back to why I am quitting.

Well frankly it's just the smart, grown up, wise, you are supposed to model positive life choices as a counselor thing to do. In other words if I could afford it and thought I could do it without society having a hissy I probably would still be smoking. Does that say something negative about my character? Of course not, on the contrary honesty is a virtue thank you. It does however say something about the power and romance of being a smoker. It is an archetype that is etched in our collective unconscious that even today in some way equals "cool."

This archetype lures people of all walks and experiences with it's seductive, "you'll be cool and stinky!" allure. Posting on Facebook about my quitting reminded me that we current and ex smokers are all part of an indelible club that you never smokers just don't understand. Regardless of the smell, cost, or stigma we all LIKED smoking and will probably always in some way mourn the loss of such a "good friend." I am really thankful for the support I received and surprised at the people that where former smokers I didn't know about. Just goes to show even a member of the club is guilty of profiling.

But humor and sarcasm aside I have a grandmother with emphysema and copd who is still smoking, and lost another one to a lung condition. Add to that Derek's grandmother is on oxygen and STILL SMOKES and instant gratification loses a bit of it's luster. It is the reality of life that often causes us to question the things that make us feel good. We see the toll of excess on our elders and it becomes clear, that could be me if I don't make different choices. Please take note of the word different, I hardly think anyone other than the individual involved is in the position to comment on how "good" or "bad" their choices are. So I CHOOSE to be a non smoker today. I hope that I will make that choice for a long time as I am not certain what accessories will match an aluminum tank.

Thank goodness for gum, former smokers, and crappy food.

Soon to be your really fat friend with fresh breath.


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